Yoel Sadovsky, MD

  • Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair (research), Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
  • Distinguished Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
  • Executive Director, Magee-Womens Research Institute
  • Elsie Hilliard Hillman Chair of Women’s Health Research
  • Associate Dean, Women's Health Research and Reproductive Sciences

Education & Training

  • MD, Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem (Israel)
  • B Med Sci, Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem (Israel)

Research Interests

The trophoblast at the feto-maternal interface fulfills functions that are critical for embryonic development, including gas exchange, supply of nutrients, removal of waste products, endocrine regulation, and immunological defense. The Sadovsky lab utilizes molecular and cellular approaches to decipher mechanisms underlying placental development, differentiation, and response to injury. We focus on three major areas:

  1. Placental microRNAs: We use diverse technologies to define the function and regulation of trophoblastic miRNA in response to injuries, such as hypoxia and viral infections.
  2. Extracellular vesicles at the maternal-placental-fetal interface: We interrogate the mechanisms of release and uptake of placental exosomes and other extracellular vesicles
  3. Placental lipidomics: We focus on fat trafficking in the feto-placental unit, including the dynamics of lipid droplets and trophoblastic mobilization of fatty acids and neutral lipids, and their role in placental pathobiology and in the mechanisms underlying preterm birth.

Using cultured primary human placental cells, genetically-altered mice, and placental samples from human pregnancies, the lab examines molecular mechanisms underlying trophoblast response to diverse stressors that adversely influence the homeostatic balance between cell injury and adaptation. These stressors contribute to placental dysfunction and fetal growth restriction (FGR), which predispose to childhood neurodevelopmental dysfunction and adult metabolic syndrome.


Delorme-Axford E, Donker RB, Mouillet JF, Chu T, Bayer A, Ouyang Y, Wang T, Stolz DB, Sarker SN, Morelli AD, Sadovsky Y* and Coyne CB*. 2013. Human placental trophoblasts confer viral resistance to recipient cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110: 12048-12053. (*equal contribution).

Chu T, Mouillet JF, Hood BL, Conrads TP and Sadovsky Y. 2015. The assembly of miRNA-mRNA-protein regulatory networks using high-throughput expression data. Bioinformatics. epub available.

Mishima T, Sadovsky E, Gegick M and Sadovsky Y. 2016. Determinants of effective lentivirus-drive microRNA expression in vivo. Sci Rep. 6: 33345.

Chang G, Mouillet JF, Mishima T, Chu T, Sadovsky E, Coyne CB, Parks WT, Surti U and Sadovsky Y. 2017. The expression and trafficking of placental microRNAs at the feto-maternal interface. FASEB J. 31: 2760-2770.

Wu M, Ouyang Y, Wang Z, Zhang R, Huang P-H, Chen C, Li H, Li P, Quinn D, Dao M*, Suresh S*, Sadovsky Y* and Huang TJ*. Isolation of exosomes from whole blood by integrating acoustics and microfluidics. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, in press. (*equal contribution)

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